Meopta Flexaret

Discussion in 'Collector's Corner' started by stingray, Mar 14, 2006.

  1. stingray
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    stingray New Member

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    I have a few questions regarding a camera I bought today. I want to use it practically as a mediuim format camera for landscapes.
    It is a Meopta Flexaret. The questions I have are:

    When was it made? - if it's any help the lenses (TLR) are Meopta Anastigmat 1:3 f = 80mm serial: 80115236 and Meopta Mirar II 1:3,5 f=80mm serial: 2044291

    Other question relate to it's operation and refer to the annotated picture below... thankyou to whoever answers this...


    How stiff is the focus slider supposed to be and how do I loosen it up?
    What is the lever with the red dot used for? i think it is a self timer but don't understand how to use it.

    and

    There is a little red circular window on the back of the body that is used to look at the numbers on the film when winding on... It has a sliver of normal light flowing through, does this matter with the backing paper of 120 film?

    one more, if anyone can give me any general tips for shooting a) with 120 film for the first time and b) with using TLR cameras, particularly with the problem of paralax. I know it's a lot to ask but hopefully at least some of it can be answered. Thanks VERY much in advance. Picture below.

    [​IMG]
  2. Mitica100
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    Mitica100 Moderator Staff Member

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    Well, well... Let's see if we can answer a few of the questions right. ;)

    The red dot lever is a selftimer, I think you need to push it down after you wind the film/shutter. They get dirty fast and might not work properly.

    Same goes for the lever used for focusing. There's a lot of grease/oil that gunks up a camera, particularly in a dusty/smoky environment. Best thing to do is to take the lenses off (if they do come off) and squirt a little Naphta, key word here is little, where it seems to be sticking. Let it penetrate and try to rework the focus. It should go smoother now. Repeat if not.

    As for the red window, it's supposed to be all red, without any cracks or slivers of light going through. That will ruin the film, whether is paperbacked or not. If that window is deteriorated it should be replaced.
    What you can do though, is put a BW film (100ASA) in the camera and take some shots, develop and print. You'll see if there are light leaks or not.

    Do not worry about parallax when shooting landscapes. Do worry about it when shooting portraits, as they are closer to the camera and therefore affected by the parallax. A simple way to compensate for the parallax is to measure the distance bewteen the center of each lens and then make a piece of stiff cardboard (or plastic) of the same length. After viewing the subject, elevate the camera on the tripod by the same length as the piece of cardboard/plastic. That way the taking lens witll be in the place of the viewing lens. Does it make sense? :D
  3. stingray
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    stingray New Member

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    of course the answers will be right coming from you! My biggest problem I think is the focus lever and I tried to dismantle the front panel last night but ONE of the screws is very stiff and there's not much head to grip on to. It is very very stiff, to the point of it hurting to move it! The shutter also sticks at anything slower than 1/25 but i think that will sort itself out with continued usage.
    As for the crack/sliver/opening in the red screen I think I will just patch it up with tape/paint of some sort. There will still be significant enough visible to see film numbers. I'll let you know if everything goes okay and maybe post some of the first photos, interesting idea and so obvious with the paralax. Thanks a lot Mitica, Will.
  4. Mitica100
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    Mitica100 Moderator Staff Member

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    First of all, you're welcome and I hope this baby works itself out. To breathe new life into the sticky shutter you'll need some Naphta or lighter fluid (such as Ronsonol) for the older style (wick) lighters. I use also a plastic ink refill bottle that has a blunt needle on top of it (wash it really well after you dump the ink and dry it equally well), I put the Naphta in it and squirt a drop where I need it. But first, take the fron elements off by unscrewing them. If they're stubborn, use a rubber glove or a set of pliers with masking tape around the jaws so it doesn't mar the finish. Then, drop a bit of Naphta in each opening (shutter cocking and self-timer) and work the shutter from the faster speeds to the slower ones, over and over until it smooths itself out. This is a quick fix, if you want a loger time solution you'll have to disassemble the shutter and clean it. Leave the camera without any lenses on for 24 hours, after which the Naphta has all but gone. If you're ambitious, buy some Nyoil from Micro Tools (Google it) and mix a drop or two with the Naphta. Good luck.
  5. stingray
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    stingray New Member

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    at this rate i'll be lucky to get the shutter lever going. I can't get the front off because one of the heads on one of the screws is flared... any idea yourself on which particular screws need to be undone to gain access to the inards?
  6. Mitica100
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    Mitica100 Moderator Staff Member

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    It seems to have a Prontor shutter. To gain access to the shutter you'll need to take the taking lens off (unscrew) and then there should be a circular plate with a 'snake eyed' disc (has two little holes for turning) whihc will release the top plate if turned the right way. I don't advise you do this, espcially if you haven't done it before. There are springs that fly, screws that disappear and levers that bend easily. I would still try the 1st technique (Naphta) to get the shutter going.
  7. stingray
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    stingray New Member

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    finished my first roll yesterday and developed it last night. my! the negatives are large. The self timer works so there's that problem solved... the window in the back works fine with some gaffer over it, you can still vaguely see the markings on the backing paper. As for the focus lever though, as I can't get the camera open it's still stiff as anything. Anyway, here's one of the photos i'm most happy with. Thanks a lot Mitica.
    [​IMG]
  8. Mitica100
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    Mitica100 Moderator Staff Member

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    Great! At least you know it works. Try more Naphta on that focusing assembly. It's dirty and sticks, that's all. They used some grease that collects dust like crazy and becomes extremely viscous (sp?), hence hard to focus. You can loosen it up with Naphta but only after you take the lenses off (keep them off for 24 hours).

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